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Letters to the editor on Big Bird, debate, media, school lunches, TV anchor, biblical principles

  • Published Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, at 12 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

Keep Big Bird’s head off the platter

It is disappointing to see Big Bird being targeted for the dinner table in the ongoing debate on the role of government.

The federal government’s contribution to public broadcasting is about one one-hundredth of 1 percent of the federal budget. While having no impact on the nation’s debt, the loss would be devastating to the American public. For every dollar in federal funding invested, about $6 is invested by each locally owned PBS station.

A Harris Interactive poll earlier this year found that Americans count PBS at their most-trusted public institution, and second only to national defense as the most valuable use of public funds. About 91 percent of American households tune into their locally owned PBS stations each year. Eighty-one percent of all children between the ages 2 and 8 watch PBS regularly, including a vast majority of underserved children who miss out on educational opportunities obtained in preschool.

Commercial television has retreated from every attempt to serve the educational needs provided by public television. No other source provides the balance of knowledge on topics we receive from our public television station that prevents us from following mob rule through ignorance.

JON CALLEN

Chairman

Board of trustees

KPTS, Channel 8

Wichita

Obama not clear

President Obama inherited a very bad economy, a near collapse of financial institutions and many other problems. However, because of his policies, he stopped the freefall and stabilized the economy.

Though certain sectors of the population did not like it, the bailouts saved our auto industry and thousands of jobs. Imagine what would have happened to General Motors without the bailout.

Yes, the unemployment rate remains high, but it is also linked to the world economy.

Obama did not articulate these and other positive policies well during Wednesday’s debate. He was not clear on what direction he would take the country. At times he sounded defensive.

On the other hand, Mitt Romney was aggressive, precise and clear in his arguments. He had a gentle smile and looked enthusiastic. He succeeded in what he was supposed to accomplish, and I am sure his campaign will be back on track and his performance may wipe out any little lead Obama has.

MOHAN KAMBAMPATI

Wichita

Romney vague

I learned nothing new about the candidates or their positions during the debate. We still learned nothing about the specifics of Mitt Romney’s plans on taxes, health care and the economy, and he played fast and loose with some of the facts.

The pundits are saying that Romney won the debate. Since this was not a true debate, but a chance for both candidates to keep restating their talking points, Romney “won” the debate by being more aggressive and always making sure he got the last word on each topic, in which he simply repeated what he had already said. He was all flash and no substance.

We need to look past the performance and look closely at what the candidates are telling us. We will find that Romney is still saying: “I have a plan, but I’m not going to tell you what it is. Trust me.”

AUBREY O. PATTERSON

Wichita

Media Kool-Aid

Remember the media hubbub about how the NFL replacement referees were a disaster? Well, did anyone watch the games last weekend? The “real refs” were as bad or worse. But instead of the media attacking bad calls with cries of derision, the bad calls last week got an “Oh, my – that was a bad call. Tee-hee-hee.”

Segue to the media election coverage. President Obama was caught earlier this year making promises over an open microphone to former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and the media went, “Oh, my – accidents do happen. Tee-hee-hee.” Mitt Romney said 47 percent of Americans pay no federal income taxes (which is true) and are dependent on government, and the media screamed endlessly about how horrific he is.

Romney criticized the administration’s response to Middle East protests and the attack in Libya and was crucified in the media for politicizing a tragedy. The administration openly lied about the Libya attack for more than two weeks, and the media responded with, “Well, in the fog of war sometimes you don’t know everything. Tee-hee-hee.”

The moral is that the media lie. Some Americans are smart enough to figure it out, but based on The Eagle’s commentaries and letters to the editor, many are not. Well, keep drinking the Kool-Aid, folks. Tee-hee-hee.

STEVE OCHSNER

Goddard

Healthful eating

I read with great interest the excerpts of student letters regarding healthful lunches (Oct. 3 Letters to the Editor). It seems students think there are only two choices when it comes to school lunches: junk food versus healthful food, with junk food tasting good and healthful food being bad and tasteless. I would suggest some education be given with this lunch program instead of simply telling students they are receiving healthful lunches.

People in general need to understand what it means to create a healthful eating plan. It is not about dieting, cutting calories or simply eating organic. Instead, it is about incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your meals, decreasing the amount of processed foods, and limiting purchases at fast-food restaurants.

There are so many options when it comes to eating a healthful diet. Pizza and hamburgers can be healthful; fish and vegetables can be tasty. It all depends on how they are prepared.

Let’s not only give students healthful lunches. Let’s give them the information and education to understand the choices and make good decisions when it comes to eating.

VICKIE KLINE

Wichita

Not a choice

I was most interested in the article about the Wisconsin TV anchor (Oct. 3 Eagle). Jennifer Livingston deserves a medal of commendation for fighting back against a person who criticized her weight. For the first time I can remember, someone has taken a stand for the “overweight” person.

Overweight people are often discriminated against in job interviews, performance reviews and job promotions. Often times it is difficult for them to get health and life insurance without paying a large financial penalty.

The bully was so wrong: Obesity is not a choice for many people, just as being gay, lesbian, white, black, Asian or Latino is not a choice. I believe Livingston is an inspiration and a role model.

BRONWEN LEWIS

Wichita

Today’s problems

There are many problems in today’s society, including young people getting into gangs, a high cost of living that many can’t manage, robberies, murders and marriages not lasting.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s – which some of us can remember – there was a great shortage of jobs yet a small number of crimes of the nature that is very common today. People weren’t afraid to sleep in their front yards or walk the streets at night, and didn’t have to keep their doors locked. What is the cause of that difference?

Back in those days, people pretty much lived according to biblical teachings. Even those who had no connection to Christian churches had respect for their beliefs and living standards.

Today, people worship the almighty dollar. Mothers do not stay home and nurture their children. They feel that they need the money. So now with two-income families, prices are higher and many still have to struggle financially. Many lower-income people do not have the respect for others and for society as a whole, and are not living according to the biblical principles followed back in the “good old days” of pre-World War II.

HOWARD L. HAMILTON

Wichita

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